140 Rescued From Waltengu

140 Rescued From Waltengu

19 January 2013
Kashmir Times


Srinagar: Following improvement in weather conditions today, the Srinagar-Jammu highway was reopened and the air traffic also resumed. Police rescued 140 persons from avalanche prone Waltengu Nard in Qazigund this morning. Kashmir Valley experienced intermittent snowfall last night also. Pahalgam received eight inches of snow, Daksum seven inches, Verinag seven inches, Kapran and Psimer 12 inches, and Kulan-Resin six inches. The snowfall stopped this morning. This was followed by sunshine for some time. Eighteen flights operated from the airport today. Officials said 15 were routine and three additional. All the flights were cancelled yesterday due to rough weather. Srinagar-Jammu highway was also reopened for stranded vehicles this afternoon. Over 150 stranded vehicles were allowed to move from Jammu side to Kashmir. A police spokesman said subject to fair weather conditions and good condition of road all kinds of vehicles would be allowed to move from Jammu side towards Kashmir in a regulated manner tomorrow. However, all vehicles are required to cross TCP Nagrota by 9 AM, Udhampur by 12 noon and TCP Banihal by 5 PM. Beyond that time no vehicle shall be allowed to proceed towards Kashmir for onward journey. However the cut off timing can be reviewed if the weather and road condition improve, the police spokesman informed. On January 21, the vehicles would be allowed to move from Kashmir side towards Jammu in a regulated manner However, all vehicles are required to cross TCP Panthachowk by 9 AM, Khanabal by 11 AM hours and TCP Qazigund by 11 PM. Beyond that time no vehicle shall be allowed to proceed towards Lower Munda for onward journey Kulgam police rescued 140 civilians from Waltengu Nard today. Giving detailsa police spokesman said a rescue operation was launched last evening in Waltengu Nard which is prone to snow related casualties and property loses. The operation was suspended last night and was re-launched this morning under the supervision of S.P Kulgam Mohammad Shafi. “In all 140 civilians comprising of 50 children, 45 males and 45 females were rescued. They have been brought to Waltengu village. The top Police officers of district Kulgam supervised the day long operation,” he added. Waltengoo-Nad, is a tribal village in the upper reaches. After shifting the villagers to safer place in the nearby village, they have been accomodated in the houses of villagers. The villagers were shifted after the authorities feared 2005 like tragedy due to heavy continuous snowfall in the area amid winds. 'The village is an avalanche prone zone and due to the heavy and continuous snow fall in the area there was the possibility of avalanche. So as a precautionary measure we evacuated almost all the families living in the village,' SP Kulgam, Mohammad Shafi told Kashmir Times. He said that they did not want to take any risk. 'As soon as the villagers informed us about the continuous snowfall in the area, we deputed our teams who shifted the villagers to the main village of Waltengoo, few kilometers below the tribal colony,' SP said. He said they have been accommodated in the houses of the villagers there. 'Besides they have been provided free ration and blankets by the district administration,' the police officer said. He further said that the people evacuated will be allowed to move back to their village only after there is green signal from the department which issued avalanche warning in the area. 'Once there is improvement in the weather conditions and green signal from the MeT department the villagers would be allowed to move back to their village. We don’t want to take any risk,' he said. Deputy commissioner Kulgam Jehangir Mir himself supervised the shifting operation of 36 families from Waltengo Nard at Waltengu Kund. An official spokesman said the families have been shifted to newly constructed colony at Wasaknag and all the basic amenities including ration, power, water and beddings were made available to them. Although there was no imminent danger of avalanches in Waltengo Nard, the shifting measure was undertaken in view of the vulnerability of the area to snowstorms and avalanches, he added. Deputy Commissioner Kulgam visited remote and far-off areas to inspect restoration works undertaken by different departments following heavy snowfall. Accompanied by Executive Engineers of PDD, PHE, R&B and Mechanical wings and respective Tehsildars, Jahangir visited Waltengo Kund, DK Marg, DH Pora, Chimer and other far-off areas to have a firsthand appraisal of difficulties arisen due to recent snowfall. While the snow has been cleared on all the main roads, 60 percent link roads have been cleared of the snow manually and the clearance operation in the rest of the areas is in full swing. The power supply has been restored almost fully in Kulgam, Qazigund, Qoimoh, Yaripora and Frisal towns and their adjacent areas. 80 percent power supply has also been restored in D. H. Pora, which witnessed 2-3 feet snow the other day, an official spokesman said. Minister of state for revenue, relief and rehabilitation, Ajaz Ahmad Khan today took stock of the situation arising after the snowfall in Valley. Official sources said the minister stressed upon the functionaries of revenue department to conduct immediate survey of all those areas where damage to property was caused due to heavy snow particularly in hilly areas, adding that the report should be submitted to the Government within shortest possible time so that measures could be taken for proper relief and rehabilitation to the affected people. He also enjoined upon the deputy commissioners to visit their respective jurisdictions and ensure that people do not face any inconvenience during the winter season. Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Farooq Ahmad Shah today chaired a high level meeting at Joint Control Room, Qazigund to review the latest situation in the district and on national highway resulting out of the recent heavy snowfall. Deputy commissioner reviewed the snow clearance, restoration of electric and water supply in the district with the concerned officials and stressed upon them to speed up the measures for restoration of basic amenities. The concerned officers revealed that snow from all major roads have been cleared and electric and water supply will be fully resorted till evening. Deputy commissioner directed the concerned officials to clear all main and link roads at an earliest so that plying of traffic is ensured. Shah also took stock of the supply position at different Disaster Management Centres located along National Highway. The minister for R&B and Mechanical Engineering, Abdul Majid Wani and minister of state for home, Sajjad Ahmad Kitchloo took stock of the situation arising out of the heavy snowfall in the Valley at a meeting of senior officers here today. The meeting discussed threadbare availability of essential commodities in the godowns of various districts besides the measures for ensuring smooth flow of traffic on the roads connecting various districts with summer capital, Srinagar. The minister for R&B while addressing the meeting said that the Government formulates policies and officers in the field implement them for giving maximum benefit of the schemes to the people, an official spokesman said.